Man shot by deputies on 153 in Hixson faced debt, legal troubles

Man shot by deputies on 153 in Hixson faced debt, legal troubles

August 28th, 2015 by Shelly Bradbury in Local Regional News

5900 Highway 153

35.163479, -85.247244
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The man shot and killed by Hamilton County sheriff's deputies on Wednesday was more than $1 million in debt, had filed for bankruptcy three times since 2012 and was arrested for domestic assault in July.

Brent Pickard, 46, was shot to death by deputies when he brandished a firearm after a lengthy vehicle chase that stretched from Ooltewah to Hixson, said Gino Bennett, director of support services at the sheriff's office.

Deputies initially responded to a report of a disorder with a weapon involved at a home Pickard owns with his wife in Ooltewah at 9:30 p.m. While deputies were en route, Pickard drove away and deputies gave chase.

They attempted to stop the vehicle several times, but Pickard refused to pull over, Bennett said.

He eventually was stopped near 5900 Highway 153 in Hixson, not far from the Academy Sports store. At that point, Bennett said, he "brandished" a weapon and was killed by deputies.

The Chattanooga Police Department will investigate Wednesday's shooting, and the sheriff's office also will conduct a separate, internal investigation, Sheriff Jim Hammond said.

"We asked the city to do an independent investigation," Hammond said. "That is standard procedure in a situation like this — to ask another agency to take a transparent look."

A man at Pickard's Ooltewah home declined to speak with the Times Free Press on Thursday. But social media, police records and court filings paint a picture of the year leading up to his death.

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

In April 2014, Pickard threatened his wife with a rifle and then got into a four-hour standoff with police in Dalton, Ga., after he entered his carpet and flooring business armed with the rifle. At the time, his wife told police he had been drinking all day and taking medication.

Pickard did not harm anyone in the incident and surrendered after talking to deputies on his cellphone. He was taken to Hamilton Medical Center for evaluation and eventually released on bond, charged with simple assault. That charge was later dismissed.

About five months later, in September 2014, Pickard was arrested again after an FBI agent and a Dalton police officer discovered he was carrying a concealed weapon without a permit. The Dalton officer who made the arrest said he was alerted to Pickard by the FBI agent, who believed Pickard had an open warrant for his arrest and followed him.

Pickard did not have an open warrant, but was found with two weapons — one on his ankle and another inside a bag in his Jeep — along with 57 rounds of ammunition, according to the report. That violated the terms of his bond.

Pickard cooperated with officers during that incident and alerted them to the gun on his ankle, according to the arrest report.

On July 30, Pickard — who owned both the home in Ooltewah and a downtown loft — was charged with domestic assault and booked into the Hamilton County Jail. He was scheduled to appear in court on Aug. 31.

On Aug. 6 and Aug. 20, Pickard's bankruptcy cases were dismissed. He'd filed cases in 2012, 2013 and 2015. The cases were dismissed, according to court records, because he failed to file paperwork, failed to make required payments and because a bank objected to his plan.

Hours before he died, Pickard reposted a 2014 photo of the view from his loft and told his Facebook friends that he needed to sell it.

"Get someone in touch with Jay Robinson to buy this place and I'll write you a check! $2000.00 at closing!!!! I need to sell it!!"

And on Wednesday, he wrote: "Frustrated beyond compare. God is still good!!!"

Contact staff writer Shelly Bradbury at 432-757-6525 or email with tips or story ideas.